No, of course I don’t think this post will end mythicism or even discussion of mythicism. But I still find myself most puzzled by mythicists’ treatment of the crucifixion. If we only had the Letter to the Hebrews, I might find the mythicist account of things more persuasive: when the action takes place in a heavenly tabernacle, the protagonist of the story might indeed be a purely mythical creation.
But what Hebrews says about the sacrifice of Jesus being offered in the celestial archetypal tabernacle does not harmonize natually with the language of crucifixion. Sources do not tell us about Jesus having his throat slit and his blood poured out on the altar (the most basic step in offering sacrifice) but about his crucifixion.
I recall that Doherty emphasizes the role of “those ruling this age” in carrying this out, and this too could be mythical. But we know from multiple sources that demonic forces were sometimes believed in this time and cultural context to possess humans and act through them, and so belief in demonic involvement is not incompatible with belief that real historical humans were involved.
The real question for me is why, when we know that crucifixion was a Roman method of execution, and those authors who later provided narratives understood Jesus to have been crucified by the Romans, and no author explicitly locates the crucifixion anywhere other than on earth, why are some nevertheless persuaded not only that other interpretations of this material are possible (lots of things are possible), but that a mythicist interpretation is more probable than a historicist one? If you are fully persuaded that the earliest Christians thought Jesus was executed somewhere other than on earth, where do you think it happened, and what leads you to draw that conclusion?
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